Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

My uncle passed away in New York leaving no will. His brother and my mother were the only immediate beneficiaries of his estate. However now we have found 2 other beneficiaries from among his relatives. I have been assigned duties as the administrator of his estate. My question is, to what extent legally are we bound to attempt to find his other relatives (many are overseas)? I have read something about a 7 month limit for finding beneficiaries, but I'm not clear on the details. The bottom line is, I don't want to responsible for new beneficiaries claiming they are owed part of his estate AFTER we've distributed the estate.

Asked on 5/31/12, 8:06 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

You must publish the Notice of Administration. Suggest you retain counsel.

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Answered on 6/01/12, 6:25 am

Michael Haber Law Offices of Michael S. Haber

As Mr. Slater advised you, it's time to hire an attorney. If you were to distribute the assets of the estate in derogation of the rights of any distributees, things would get decidedly unpleasant. Your information is just plain wrong that all you need to do is sit back for seven months and then you are home free.

Finding distributees is not always easy. And sometimes it is expensive. But it is an expense of the estate.

There is no advantage to your continuing without an attorney. But there is potentially a big downside.

Good luck to you.

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Answered on 6/01/12, 8:04 am

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